I read a book! Like, the whole book… No cheating… I read every word.
Yes, that’s right, someone who has
hated and struggled with reading and writing,
who works in education,
and who is determined to start a blog,
is proudly proclaiming that she has read a book.
I found it, no wait… it found me, in Target. Sitting there on the shelf, boasting multiple awards, Resse’s Book Club status, and “now a major motion picture” rank.
Actually, all of the accolades made me want to read it less, feeling shamed by a community of ‘readers’, I was never a part of.
I watched as people were posting their obsession with the book and thought, “Ugh, it’s a book for people who like to read,” and I kept on scrolling.
I don’t know what made me pick up the book. It was fate, really. I didn’t even know what it was about.
All I knew was
it took place in the South…
But at the moment,
I was missing home in Canada,
from my sweltering balcony in Arkansas,
and the last thing I wanted to do was
read a Southern story,
about Southern times,
in the heat of the South.
Now, you may think I am going to rave about my connection with the story and how I tried to hold back the tears on the plane ride as I finished the story in sync with the wheels touching down in Georgia.
(Yes, it’s all true.)
But something much more amazing happened.
I read a book, absolutely loving every moment, and…
I shared this right of passage, unintentionally, with a complete stranger.
Walking onto the plane, I couldn’t put the book down and read as I strolled down the narrow aisle. Tangled in the details, desperate to flip the pages, a woman stopped me and asked,
“Is it any good? I heard really great reviews about the book… does it live up to the hype? I’ve been meaning to buy it.”
I replied in all honesty,
“I’ve never been the person to read the book over seeing the movie, but there is no way anyone could ever do this justice.
It is absolutely moving.“
I’m sure there are many great “moving” books out there but this book and I celebrated much more than a New York Times write-up, I pushed through some of the struggles I have had with reading that held me back from enjoying literature in the past.
I kept going because Kya, a beautifully fierce young girl in the book, was worth it and, quite frankly, so was I.
While on the plane, I was surprised I only had so many pages to read until I could finally put all the details together.
I paused and thought of the woman I passed on the way to my seat.
I didn’t know if I would be able to finish the book in time, but I was determined to share such a great novel. More importantly, I was going to do something I had never done before.
Gift a book… that I have read and loved… to another person.
As, you know, I finished it just in time. The thought of missing her to the crowded aisle from row 14D made me sick. I asked the man next to me if I could get by when the plane landed… he smiled. I ran down the aisle, people looking at me as though I had a connection to make, and tried to reach row 6, falling just short.
The man sitting behind her, looked at me and said,
“You finished it, didn’t you?”. As if he knew.
“You want me to tap her on the shoulder?”. I nodded.
“This is for you.”
She smiled in disbelief. And thanked me over and over again.
“I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.”
What happened next was a bit of a whirlwind. The man, who tapped 6A on the shoulder, started downloading the book as we waited for them to open the cabin door to let us out. The woman next to her chimed in and explained how great the book was and that 6A would love the complexities of the story. We all exited the plane and waited for our bags to come out from the scorching heat while introducing ourselves, talking about where we were from and our plans for the summer. We laughed and were amazed by everything we had in common.
She thanked me again, waved the book as she took a turn towards the international flights, and left for the islands.
I wouldn’t call myself a reader or looking to join a book club, not just yet… I found a whole world, between the lines, that has opened up new possibilities. I made a connection and I now feel a new gravitational pull, a call to adventure that is waiting for me at the bookstore just down the street.
What a gift!
It has taken me years to find the confidence and courage to answer that call.
Better late than never.
|“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.”|
— Irving Stone
Here are three suggestions for those who struggle with picking up a book and finishing it!
- Think in pictures. As you read, create a world that you can connect with… as you do so, you will crave more details and pay closer attention to descriptive characteristics throughout the novel.
- Operate within your attention span. Find a place and time that works for you. When you start to tire or become distracted, you will begin to go through the motions and end up having to re-read pages. This can be frustrating and a false sense of not being a good reader. Being tired and distracted would make anything challenging!
- Read with purpose. Select a book that piques your interest. It’s not always the topic, but decide what experience you want to have with the author and/or the book… consider the different writing styles and formats.
Don’t be shy. Answer that call… it’s just you and the pages. There is an incredible world, waiting for you, filled with powerful imagery and emotions, all caught up between the lines. xox 🙂 Annie
BTW- It was “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens… and yes, it lives up to its hype! The featured picture is from the movie… still deliberating on whether I will go see it 😉
Have a great week!